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Turtles don solar-powered communicators in the name of science

Darren Murph

For biologists who aren't down with tracking blazing fast cheetahs and computer engineers who aren't keen on their hardware just galloping away, strapping solar-powered communicators on none other than a 40-pound turtle was a no-brainer. Dubbed M16, the giant snapper commandeered by scientists from the University of Massachusetts is now sporting a "postcard-sized waterproof computer" that tracks and records data about the endangered species and beams it back to the campus when the creature moseys on by a base station. Much like a few military applications we've seen, the idea here is to "create a network of constantly moving devices (or animals) that record and store information, transmit data from one device to another," and finally upload it into a database. No word on whether webcams or high-powered lasers will get added in to the second wave of shell-bound rigs.

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